ANDOVER, NJ (Warren County) – A Warren County family has grown their agricultural business for three generations – putting truth behind their slogan, “Where quality comes from tradition.”
The Freeborn family has owned and operated Tranquility Farms on Route 517 in Andover since the early 1900s. What began with a herd of Holsteins, has now transformed into a much bigger business. Tranquility Farms has opened a new farm stand that specializes in selling produce, homemade ice cream, farm-raised meats, and more.
“It turned out better than our wildest dreams,” says Tranquility Farms owner, Larry Freeborn. “We started as dairy farmers, branched into crop farming, and then we slowly phased into vegetable whole sale production, with a slash of retail being that little self-serve stand, and then one day that turned into a real business.”
Tranquility Farms unveiled their new stand earlier in June. The spacious facility is less like a stand, and looks more like an outstanding farmers market straight out of a country living magazine. Once you set foot in inside, you’re overtaken with waft of smells emanating from delicious fresh-baked donuts, homemade ice creams, pies, and produce.
After operating out of a successful, but smaller location for five years, Freeborn says he began brainstorming about creating a bigger retail location. “This has been in the drawing boards of my mind since then. Now we finally came together with a plan, broke ground, and the best part for me is that the kids are involved.”
Freeborn’s son, Zach Freeborn, handles the wholesale vegetable production and his daughter, Erin Freeborn Lytle, handles retail and manages the farm market.
While overlooking the beautiful new business from her office, Lytle discussed consumer benefits for shopping locally. “You can get to know your farmer, know your food, know where it’s coming from. It’s picked the same day it’s put on the shelves. And we use good farming practices, so you know exactly what you get when you’re coming here,” says Lytle.
Tranquility Farms also features a new ice cream window that is open 7-days-a week from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. The family is serving their homemade hard-ice cream, soft serve, milkshakes and floats. Other mouth-watering treats that will be flying out of the ice cream window are specialty sundaes, which pair tremendously well with a warm apple cider donut or cookie.
Tranquility’s best-selling homemade flavors include the following: vanilla peanut butter, s’mores, coffee fudge swirl, and butter finger. Plus, people who fall in love with their ice cream can purchase quarts and pints to take home. “Our goal is really to make the ice cream aspect a huge part of our stand,” says Lytle.
Folks can also enjoy eating Tranquility Farm’s tasty treats at one of their outdoor picnic tables, which are conveniently located next to an adorable petting zoo. An animal that gains a lot of attention is Tranquility Farm’s Zonkey (Zebra/Donkey) named, Zulu. “Zulu is very popular. Kids love her, and the petting zoo is a fun attraction for the whole family to enjoy,” says Freeborn.
“We would also love to expand our own produce and what we are growing. We want to get as many people shopping local and have this be a place to come and get everything they could need,” explains Lytle.
Tranquility Farm’s is also selling home-raised, hormone and antibiotic free meat products. Consumers can also purchase necessities like milk, eggs, and bread. However, if you’re looking for honey, jams, and jellies, they’ve got that too.
Last but definitely not least, Tranquility Farms still has a huge array of beautiful plants and flowers. Their farm also features brand new tremendous greenhouses.
The fun at Tranquility farms won’t stop at the end of summer. Lytle says there is a lot more to come in terms of events and Fall activities. “We are looking forward to doing our corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin picking, and kid’s events – and in the future, we’d like to do more festivals. So by doing more events people would eventually be able to enjoy our stand year round.”
Celebrate Tranquility Farm’s Grand Opening this Saturday, June 30th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’re offering free soft serve ice cream, live music, animals and cow train rides for the kids, and much more!
For more, visit Tranquility Farm’s Facebook Page.